• Discovered: Nov 26, 2023 16:05 Emily F. Gorcenski: Making God The millenarianism and manifest destiny of AI and techno-futurism. <– (via Emily’s toot): Read the whole thing; it’s 8000 words plus and well worth reading! –> QUOTE: Doomsday cults can never admit when they are wrong. Instead, they double down. We failed to make artificial intelligence so we pivoted to artificial life. We failed to make artificial life so now we’re trying to program the messiah. Two months before the Metaverse went belly-up, McKinsey valued it at up to $5 trillion dollars by 2030. And it was without a hint of irony or self-reflection that they pivoted and valued GenAI at up to $4.4 trillion annually. There’s not even a hint of common sense in this analysis. ... As a career computational mathematician, I’m shaken by this. It’s not that I think machine learning doesn’t have a place in our world. I’m also not innocent. I’ve earned a few million dollars lifetime hitting data with processing power and hoping money comes out, not all of that out of pure goodwill. Yet I truly believe there are plenty of good, even humanitarian applications of data science. It’s just that creating godhood is not one of them. ... This post won’t convince anyone on the inside of the harms they are experiencing nor the harms they are causing. That’s not been my intent. You can’t remove someone from a cult if they’re not ready to leave. And the eye-popping data science salaries don’t really incentivize someone to get out. No. My intent was to give some clarity and explanatory insight to those who haven’t fallen under the Singularity’s spell. It’s a hope that if—when—the GenAI bubble bursts, we can maybe immunize ourselves against whatever follows it. And it’s a plea to get people to understand that America has never stopped believing in its manifest destiny. ... David Nye described 19th and 20th century American perception technology using the same concept of the sublime that philosophers used to describe Niagara Falls. Americans once beheld with divine wonder the locomotive and the skyscraper, the atom bomb and the Saturn V rocket. I wonder if we’ll behold AI with that same reverence. I pray that we will not. Our real earthly resources are wearing thin. Computing has surpassed aviation in terms of its carbon threat. The earth contains only so many rare earth elements. We may face Armageddon. There will be no Singularity to save us. We have the power to reject our manifest destinies.


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